Top facts about end of life care
- In England, some 1,300 people die every day. About 900 of them will have wanted to die at home, but less than half will do so.
- 975 may have needed palliative care to relieve suffering but 469 will not have received it. That means 19 people each hour dying in pain and distress.
- Estimates suggest that we spend about £55m each day on this failure to give people a good death.
- 1% of the English population dies each year, only 25% from cancer.
- By creating an opportunity to discuss end of life care wishes with your patients, you could save many frustrating conversations later this year as unplanned admissions, falls and infections mount.
- At this moment, about 25% of all hospital beds are occupied by someone who is dying. The National Audit Office estimates that at least 40% of these people have no medical need to be there.
- After several years of falling, the death rate is about to increase again as the ‘baby boomers’ reach old age. This is a bad situation, which is going to get worse unless we act now.
- We know that where a patient has a plan and knows what is happening, s/he is much more likely to realise the preferred place of death. In most cases (though not all) this is at home, wherever home may be.
- Good community support can realise 70% of deaths at home and halve hospital admissions.
- You can make a huge difference now to your patients' experience by looking for your 1% and talking to them about the coming year.